After Jeff Sessions initially claimed under oath in January that he’d had no meetings with Russian officials during the course of the Donald Trump campaign, it was proven that he’d had at least two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak – so he belatedly admitted to them. Then came word that there was probably a third meeting. Sessions opened his testimony today by insisting that third meeting never happened. But then during questioning, he slipped up and appeared to admit to three meetings.
The moment came when Republican Senator Marco Rubio asked the following question: “I want to go to the campaign for a moment. I’m sure you are aware it is widely reported, [the Russians] often pose not simply as an official, but undercovers such as businessman, journalist and the like. At any point during the campaign, did you have an interaction who in hindsight you look back and say they tried to gain influence and in hindsight you look back and wonder?” Jeff Sessions responded: “I don’t believe in my conversations with the three times.”
Rubio had been asking whether Sessions thought he might have met any undercover Russian agents who had been trying to coerce him. Sessions’ response had nothing to do with the question, as is often par for the course when he’s testifying. But the only realistically possible interpretation of Sessions’ answer is that he was insisting nothing improper happened during the “three times” he met with the Russian Ambassador.
This moment seemed to go unnoticed by everyone involved. Rubio didn’t pick up on it, and changed the subject with his next question. No one else on the committee, Republican or Democrat, followed up on it. And it certainly didn’t make the headlines. But now that we’ve gone back and watched it, the moment is right there on tape. Sessions, in trying to avoid answering a different question, slipped up and admitted that he had three meetings with Kislyak – not two. This confirms he committed perjury in his opening statement. If you’re a regular reader, feel free to support Palmer Report. Follow Palmer Report on Facebook and Twitter.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report